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Stereo System Amplifier

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I am currently using an external DAC and an old integrated amplifier unit from a pioneer stereo system to drive both my speakers and an AKG k701. While the speakers sound immaculate, I feel the headphones lack a bit, especially in the high-frequency response. Are there stereo system stacks capable of providing appropriate amping for both devices?

Thanks!
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by HAGGARD View Post

Hi there,

I am currently using an external DAC and an old integrated amplifier unit from a pioneer stereo system to drive both my speakers and an AKG k701. While the speakers sound immaculate, I feel the headphones lack a bit, especially in the high-frequency response. Are there stereo system stacks capable of providing appropriate amping for both devices? Sure ther are! THIS

Thanks!

The usual drill:
What DAC?
What AMP?
How are the DAC and AMP connected?
What do you listen to?
What's your budget?
Edited by billbartuska - 1/12/14 at 9:57pm
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, I was just generally looking for suggestions, since when I did some research, in the few threads I found dedicated to this, people said it was more of a hit-or-miss kind of thing, and that integrated amps only started being good for headphone use beyond the $1k range. However:

What DAC? Schiit Modi
What AMP? Pioneer SA-7800
How are the DAC and AMP connected? PC USB -> Modi -> 2ch-cinch -> AUX-IN SA-7800
What do you listen to? Rock, but not with the headphones really
What's your budget? Preferably not far more than what an external good dedicated headphone amp would cost me

What about using the headphones on the integrated amp's speaker-outs? I heard the problem with proper headphone driving was that the main components in most integrated units aren't used for the headphone jack.
post #4 of 6
On the older receivers particularly, a lot of times it is using the main speaker outs, just with big resistors in series between that and the headphone jack. But on K701 that shouldn't really decrease treble I think. Also, if anything, K701 is perceived by most as being a little treble tilted and measures that way too (compared to most headphones).

How's the K701 sound, relative to what you're getting on the integrated amp, out of other devices? Try a computer onboard, phone, etc.

Maybe the speakers are just a bit bright.

There's also the issue of headphone high-frequency response being something of a crapshoot. And actually, if you're talking about the top octave, the K701 is missing some there (joining the club with a very wide range of other headphones) despite being arguably a bit boosted in the rest of the treble.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by HAGGARD View Post

Well, I was just generally looking for suggestions, since when I did some research, in the few threads I found dedicated to this, people said it was more of a hit-or-miss kind of thing, and that integrated amps only started being good for headphone use beyond the $1k range. However:

What DAC? Schiit Modi
What AMP? Pioneer SA-7800
How are the DAC and AMP connected? PC USB -> Modi -> 2ch-cinch -> AUX-IN SA-7800
What do you listen to? Rock, but not with the headphones really
What's your budget? Preferably not far more than what an external good dedicated headphone amp would cost me

What about using the headphones on the integrated amp's speaker-outs? I heard the problem with proper headphone driving was that the main components in most integrated units aren't used for the headphone jack.


have you tried the 701's with other equipment (and if so did they sound better?) maybe you just don't like the sound of the 701s?? I have a rather minty Pioneer SX-3600 on my desk here and I am listening to my Beyerdynamics DT770 Pro 80s with it right now and I compared it to my FiiO E09K/E07K combo and honestly it is a pretty even match. (maybe annoyingly the nod actually going to the SX-3600)

Vintage gear like your SA-7800 and my SX-3600 generally had the headphone section being driven off the amp section ...newer receivers tend to have opamps and generally poor headphone output...but properly working vintage gear often have fantastic headphone sections.... but who knows synergy can also come into play and it may just be the pioneer and AKGs are a poor match.

you could get the Magni for $100 and try that with the headphones and keep the SA-7800 (kewl amp by the way) for the speakers.)
post #6 of 6
I checked the schematic (HiFiEngine), and yes, the headphone output is taken directly from the speaker output. There is no separate headphone amp.

Amp is rated for "low" impedance headphones (generally below 30 ohms) and those AKGs are specked at 62 ohms.(100+ ohms is considered "high" impednce)
So, you're somewhere in the middle. (lower impedance would be better.

On the schematic I noticed that that amp has a proprietary biasing circuit (N.A.S.???). I'm not an electrical engineer (but I have stayed at a few Holiday Inns!). Perhaps the headphone impedance is screwing with that biasing circuit. Do the headphones sound different if you play the speakers at the same time?

I'd be testing then with a different amp, if I were you.
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